The Easter Bunny

Holiday Figure

Born: c. 1500 A.D.
Birthplace: Germany
Best known as: The fictional symbol of Easter
The Easter Bunny is a jaunty symbol of the annual Christian holiday of Easter. (Easter marks the day that Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have risen from the grave after his crucifixion.) According to tradition, the Easter Bunny makes his visit every year, scattering brightly-colored eggs as he goes. The origins of the Easter Bunny aren't clear; the first recorded references to him (as "Oschter Haws") are generally agreed to have come from Germany in the 1500s. In ancient times the rabbit was a symbol of fertility, equated with springtime and renewal of life, and the hare was also associated with the moon, whose cycles determine the precise date of Easter each year. Over time these traditions presumably merged with the annual celebration of Easter itself, and now the Easter Bunny is associated with Easter in much the same way that Santa Claus is the secular symbol of Christmas.

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